Methods of Getting Out of Jail After Arrest
Anyone arrested for a criminal offense has the right to have bail set at a reasonable amount. A judicial officer sets bail based on a number of factors:
- Someone’s prior convictions, or lack of a criminal history
- Seriousness of the offense
- Person’s prior history of making court appearances or failing to return to court
- The extent of the person’s close ties to the community
Once a person has been arrested, his/her first concern is usually how to get out of jail. Getting out of jail is generally a necessity for anyone with a family or a job. Fortunately, Pennsylvania law provides a number of avenues for post-arrest release. Rule 524 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code sets out five types of release on bail:
- Release on monetary condition – A person arrested pays an agreed-upon amount of money that is deemed reasonable for the crime charged.
- Release on non-monetary condition – A person arrested pays the bail sum and also agrees to specific conditions of release such as not leaving the county, not associating with a co-defendant, or not contacting an alleged victim.
- Release on Recognizance (ROR) – The arrested person isn’t subject to a bail and is released solely upon a written promise to appear at all court dates.
- Release Based on Unsecured Bail Bond – No cash is paid in advance; arrestees instead sign a document agreeing to forfeit a particular amount of money should they miss future court dates.
- Release on Nominal Bail – A person deposits a specific amount of cash to secure release. This can be provided as a cash payment in full, a credit card charge, or a percentage in cash with the balance provided through a bail bondsman as a guarantee for future court appearances.
Upon arrest, some people are given a citation with an appointed court date. A warrant for arrest will be issued for anyone who fails to appear on a designated court date, and the person will ultimately have to seek one of the five types of bail release provided by law.
If you are in custody on a criminal charge and want skillful, persuasive legal representation at your bail hearing, contact an experienced Berks County bail bond attorney.